Donald Trump has been publicly praising Russian President Vladimir Putin since at least 2013, when he wondered if Putin would become "my new best friend" during the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. The latest example came on Thursday, when Trump took to Twitter citing Putin for support of his claim that the impeachment vote against him was "a total Witch Hunt!"
Trump has also repeatedly embraced what the U.S. intelligence community has identified as a Russian disinformation campaign, claiming the Ukraine, rather that Russia, was behind the cyber attack on the 2016 election.
The disinformation campaign claims that one of the computer servers hacked by Russia in 2016 is now in the possession of Ukraine, where it is being hidden to cover up the supposed evidence of Ukraine's interference.
In one exchange with reporters in October, Trump mentioned "the server" eight times in a span of 24 seconds.
"I still ask the FBI, 'Where is the server?' How come the FBI never got the server from the DNC?" Trump said at that time. "Where is the server? I want to see the server. Let's see what's on the server."
But according to an intelligence community source who spoke on Saturday to NBC News reporter Ken Dilanian, Trump's full-throated advocacy of the Russian disinformation campaign must delight Putin.